The AFC-CUP through an Indian perspective

AFC-CupFirstly let me introduce the competition ‘The AFC Cup’ (for those who are not familiar with it). It’s an Asian-level club football,group cum-knockout based tournament held for the clubs from AFC categorised ‘developing countries’. Winners of this competition get an entry into the more prestigious ‘AFC Champions League’.

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Johor Darul Takzim of Malaysia Winners-2015

While only in recent history Indian clubs have been a part of Asian level club football. But there has been steady improvement in the way Indian clubs are competing here. The most frequent attendees are Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC. In the current season both the clubs have qualified from their respective groups to the knockout stages.

But Mohun Bagan exited the competition in Round of 16 to TAMPINES ROVERS of SINGAPORE in battle which needed extra-time. But Bengaluru FC have advanced to the quater-finals and locked horns with the eliminator of Mohun Bagan after over coming  Kitchee FC  of Hongkong. 

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Daniel Lalhlimpuia (left) celebrating after scoring the winner in the Round of 16

So for now it’s All The Best for JSW Bengaluru FC from India and we hope you will become the first club from India to ever qualify for the AFC champions league.

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The Untold story of Aizawl FC

‘Mizoram’ a twinkling little state in the far eastern conrner of the country, which is gleaming in the field of football ( soccer if somebody are not sure).

Mizoram
Mizoram team with the Santosh Trophy in 2014

Since winning the Inter-State ‘Santosh Trophy’ in the year 2014, the state has taken leaping steps forward in terms of success and also maintaining it. And this has been of tremendous stature in a cricket-mad country like ours ( India).

 

 

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Aizawl Fc with I-league 2nd Division trophy in 2015

Recently, ‘Aizawl FC‘ has become the sole club from the state to enter the premier club football competition the ‘I-LEAGUE’ through promotion from the 2nd division by winning it.

The humongous support provided by the people of the city and the state could be felt when the country’s champions ‘Mohun Bagan‘ arrived at their home turf- Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on 24th of march. No where in the country I had observed the crowd scream for off-side appeal.

As the hilly state’s climate does not allow for a natural grass ground. The Football governing body of the state has able to build an astro-turf ground right on the hill top.

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Beautiful Stadium of Aizwal FC

I would like to conclude by stating that- What such a small state like Mizoram has helped Aizawl FC  to achieve and develop is a very hard task for other bigger and richer states. And still Mizoram has not come into limelight. Through this post I would like to broadcast the image of some promising footballing stories in India.

Please comment.. It would support me in running this blog and developing a footballing community.

 

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th_thumb.jpg @ShaikAbfar

3 days 3 quotes Challenge

Firstly I would like to Thanks Ankush for challenging me for this. I also apologize for the delayed release of this post.

So let’s started right away. The 1st quote is not exactly by a person but from an entire language….

The Famous quote from Chinese

cp

This applies to vast aspects of  life. Such as Finance, Relationships, Academics, Job and lastly my blog theme.. Football!

I would further like to challenge :

ajoobacats

empress2inspire

simpledimple

 

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th @ShaikAbfar

I-league

  “ The Ailing Stepping Stone of Indian Club Football”                                                                                                                                                                                                hero_i-league

In the year 2015, a successor to the National Football League was born. By the tremendous efforts of  IMG – Reliance. Originally started with the name of ONGC I-League ( as ONGC being the title sponsor ). Even tough it was a National League of the country, the scope of it was majorly limited to the Goan, Bengal and Northern parts of the country. Currently Bengaluru FC which made it’s debut into the league in the 2013/14 season is the only club from whole of South India.

The League was constantly hungry for attention, audience, investments and enthusiasm from both the public and the investors. The league even experienced many of it’s clubs shutting down like, Pune City FC, Chirag United Kerala, JCT, Pailan Arrows which were run in a very professional manner.

The hardships of the league did not end here. There was a period of financial crisis which started with the failure of paying the prize money to the winners of 2011/2012 season Dempo SC of Goa. And there was also a protest from all the clubs to the AIFF on the issue of not distributing the telecast revenue among the clubs.

Even after so many setbacks, the league gave rise to a decent amount of talent development. Such as Baichung Bhutia, Subrata Pal, Sunil Chetri and  Jeje Lalpekhula.

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Champions Trophy of Hero I-league

There are also some foreign players who made name for themselves like Carlos Hernandes of Costa Rica Billal Nejjarine of Lebanon and Sony Norde  of Haiti.              

On the Whole the league was started with many ambitions in mind. But could only relish a fraction of them. It eagerly need a restructuring or the hugely rumoured

“I-league and ISL merger”

Feel free to contact me at:

in  in.linkedin.com/in/abrarahmedshaik

th @ShaikAbfar

 

About the Blogger (me)

I am pretty sure that this post had to be my first one. But it’s never late to introduce yourself to the world. Hence, I am Abrar Ahmed from Hyderabad ,India.

As the blog’s title itself gives a glimpse of my interests, hobbies, work, passion etc. Here I will be discussing about the the big buzz created by the sport of Football in the Cricket-mad country “India”, which has been the same way for a couple of decades now. I am a football player myself, and have amid interest in the field of Finance and Business. Maybe in future this blog may feature of a football and business mixed posts. So be ready for that too.

The main catalyst for me starting this blog instead of sticking to a personal journal was to spread the scope and craze of this sport. And even gain knowledge from the vast audience out there. Connecting with football addicts like me was a first agenda.

I hope if this blogs endures a year’s time then the goal of connecting the Indian Footballing public would be accomplished.

You can feel free to contact me for your views, discussions, plans about increase football.

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th @ShaikAbfar

Indian Super League

isl

There was a renaissance happening in the sport of football in the form of ISL. Which completely changed the map of the game and how the Indian public viewed it. A tremendous financial, emotional and talent boost was felt by the sport. By the arrival of Foreign stars the league got an Int’l flick. Such as Alessandro Del PieroJohn Arne Riise, Roberto Carlos, Nicolas Anelka, Robert Pires etc.

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Del Piero in action with Delhi Dynamos

The league even gave rise to Indian football prodigy, in the names of Romeo Fernandes, Sandesh Jhingan and Mohammed Rafique.

The stadiums were never seen so damn packed for a sport other than Cricket.

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Sandhes Jhingan with Kerala Blasters
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Mohammed Rafique with the trophy after scoring the winner in ISl final 2014

Let’s hope the sport which was so hungry for a push will certainly be provided from this league.

And will make the dream of India qualifying for the FIFA WORLD CUP will be a reality sooner in the future.

I personally believe that ISL is

A Lifeline for Indian Football